DPP, Cabinet Reshuffle and Southern Africa Politics
Definately a day in politics can be a year. Thabo Mbeki was being praised the other day for brockering the yet to be announced Zimbabwe deal and the following day he was back in South African papers after a judge in his former deputy and now political rival Jacob Zuma's case named his office as having intefered in the National Prosecutions Office decision to prosecute Zuma. Of course Zuma is a living example to many of those that believe they can abuse their offices to deter people's will. That reminds me of Comrade Robert Mugabe, a man whose legacy as a liberator is now lies in ruins of history and many will choose to remember his role in the Zimbabwe destruction. Only the few smile in the great Zimbabwe. We pray that Monday 15th September Simba Makoni's prophecy of a new Zimbabwe dawn will come to reality.
One common attribute is how Governments decide to work out on denying opposition chances to exist in a multi-party democracy. Elsewhere, Africa is the only continent followed by Latin America and some parts of Asia where coups, treason and high treason charges keep appearing. Opponents disappear or the newspapers are bombed or banned in one way or the other.
I am a proud Malawian, I do sincerely thank Kamuzu Banda for accepting defeat much honourable than any other loosing African head of State, Bakili Muluzi minus his young democracts and ruffians for keeping a relatively free press and opposition, and definately Bingu wa Mutharika for trying his level best to maintaining such a free press. Of course his reference to thec country's media as "sick" was misplaced as a sick media is a reflection of a sick country. That is why I as a proud Journalist, I am always happy to read even the worst form of tabloids online and in real newspaper form. Bingu's paper the Guardian adopted a "development stories approach" and it really looks like a PR publication. I hope the President realises that critique is part of Journalism, even when writing development stories. You cant keeop writing only what suits the masters. But any way, thanks for bringing a different approach to the media.
Last week I spoke of MBC and its new found hobby of refuting newspaper stories, but someone at Chameleon-it is a bar- told me that was what Dr. Ntaba used to do during transition.I must have been 10 or 12 years in 1993 so, I cant really recall much. But my book research will definately cover that.
But I met Nicholas Dausi, my good freind outside politics and journalism, who laughed off when I asked him if he is on holiday, he said not, but he leaves those that want to shout shout louder at times.
Of course I met Dausi at a DPP press conference where Khumbo Kachali announced that primaries for the Democratic Progressive Party will be held in November.
The announcement came after President Mutharika had already left the country. I wondered why he decided on that without adding when the convention will be held too.Of course one question nobody asked if the party will choose its presidential candidate at a convention or it is already a done deal that Mutharika announced that he is a candidate.
After the press breifing I had a chat with the DPP top brass, they all seemed genuinely enthusiastic about the primaries, though lost on how they will manage after the results.
But one thing, it is good that DPP will have primaries, that is a healthy sign in a democracy, imposition cost Bakili Muluzi and his UDF over 40 seats when people even in hard core yellow districts of Mangochi and Machinga rebelled and voted for people of their choice.
My only worry for DPP has been the party is full of recycled politicians, some of them have stood over three times and failed, people simple dont want them. I know up to 11 guys in its top heirachy who tried as MCP, Aford, UDF or whatever party and failed, you seriously mean these people will convince them to vote for them simply because they are blue.
Kamlepo Kalua is well renowned for his 1994 campaign where he said, 'fisi ndi fisi olo achoke tchire ilo sasintha mawanga'. I have noted a pattern since 1994 that if you are voted out of Parliament you rarely dont come back. Only two people can be said to have defied this one, late Rodwell Munyenyembe and Gwanda Chakuamba-for an obvious reason that he still commands the Lowe Shire.
I like Muhammad Sidiki Mia, but I said religion and other factors do not favour him a a likely leader in the region. He will do better in his Chikwawa Mkombezi but he cannot deliver the whole region.
Then someone called me about an impending Cabinet reshuffle, he said the reshuffle will remove one Minister from Blantyre, another deputy from Karonga and promote some deputies, especially those seen to be very active in the National Assembly.
From our traditi0n we dont write about impending reshuffles until something really happens, but I have some good suggestions for the appointing authority.
The DPP in its present form does not present a big political threat in any region, even Aford's Enock Chihana knows.
The primaries alone will not solve the challenges that have rocked the party, neither a convention to be held after nominations. That is why Bingu has to move very fast and look for deals that can deliver him a confortable win or else he will make another first.
I have desisted from writing anything on the CCJP polls that gave DPP 30 seats, my good uncle suggested that should I have done a story that DPP will get 100 seats, I could have been invited as a presidential guest to New York. I love my job and such an offer would not change what I write-the truth from credible sources.
But in reality, DPP needs to bring on board Aleke Banda and his PPM, Gwanda Chakuamba and his NRP-after all the deputy is Zikhale who with Bingu are best of buddies-until politics separated them. DPP can negotiate with Aford too, then add Brown Mpinganjira, dont isolate Bob Khamisa and then bring Uladi Mussa into the fold.
This is a massive combination of all the former ruling parties and campaign organisers who can shake any party.
Uladi Mussa has his own weakenesses, but he is a mobiliser and works hard for politics. I was told someone accused him of trying to topple Bingu from the DPP presidency, I said my foot, this is the only guy who could be in Mangochi, Salima and Karonga and manage to woo crowds.
Brown Mpinganjira or BJ is an excellent operative, he set up a party that had structure throughout, he can speak and convince big names that he has a following, he needs to drum up support in the Lomwe mountains of Mulanje and Thekerani, and mobilise his NDA structure that they are better off with Bingu than Muluzi.
Gwanda is the father of Lower Shire and anyone who wants a seat there should go through him.UDF tried in 10 years but failed to separate the Sena's from their Mbuya.
Aleke brings a serious and business touch to any Government. If he can return to Agriculture in the meantime and add Goodall Gondwe you can convince any doubting thomas that the country is in for serious business.
But today DPP has not negotiated with anybody, accoriding to my political intelligence apparatus.
Thus Bakili Muluzi has the benefit of the Yao belt plus Lower Shire, Uladis' Salima and BJ expertise.
JZU is playing his cards slowly, but he is going to pull a suprise, how do you explain his two trips to Blantyre this month without holding any rallies except for the Ntcheu stop over and Kaphatenga.
I said before, the figure in election favours any one who is organised, so far primaries for DPP is one way of organising the new party, but it needs a really new energiser that works to deliver.
I know a candidate in Kasungu for DPP who will fail miserably if featured, I was in the district for assessments done by an independent firm.
Let democracy prevail and people will choose approproately if you have good primaries. Enanu mupanga liti kuli ma MP, even Kaliati said it on Friday- it is a democratic reality!!!!